Fivel began working with Nesiya in 1999, when he spent four summers as a counselor, before becoming Director in 2013. Fivel taught previously for several years in pluralistic Jewish programs for teens, college students and young adults, including Camp Yavneh, Brandeis Collegiate Institute, Aardvark Israel, and Colgate University, where he worked as campus rabbi and lecturer in the Department of Philosophy and Religion. He also directed the outdoor program at a gap-year Israel program for delinquent English-speaking youth. Fivel holds a BA from Dartmouth and Masters of Theological Studies from Harvard Divinity School, and received rabbinic ordination from Rabbi Shlomo Riskin. He lives in Efrat with his wife Dorit, whom he met when they were both Nesiya counselors, and their family.
Charles Herman, M. Ed.Founder and Senior Adviser
Charles served Nesiya as Executive Director from its inception in 1985 through February, 2013. He earned his B.A. degree in Comparative Literature from Brown University and a Masters of Education degree from Harvard University in Counseling and Consulting Psychology. He also studied in Jerusalem at the Hebrew University and the Pardes Institute. Charles has also worked with delinquent boys in New York City, as a photographer in Bali, Indonesia, and with Jewish education agencies in Chicago and Cleveland. Charles lives in Jerusalem with his wife Dina and four sons.
Aliza Beilin, MA-MPAAssistant Director
Originally from Miami, Aliza spent 6 years living in New York before moving to Haifa. While in New York, Aliza completed her undergraduate studies and a dual degree masters program in Jewish History and Nonprofit Management at NYU, while working for an Israeli youth movement in America. Aliza’s first exposure to Nesiya was in high school when several of her friends participated in the program, and she was impressed with their stories; she is now excited to join the Nesiya team as assistant director.
Tova Levine, MSWCommunications Associate
Tova started her Nesiya journey as a participant on Nesiya in 2005. Prior to her work as the communications Associate at Nesiya, Tova assisted Rabbi Pear at Shir Hadash, worked in various roles at Camp Ramah New England, and as a team leader at the Neighborhood Youth Association in Los Angeles. She received her BS in Human Development and BA in Judaic Studies from Binghamton University and her MSW from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Tova also spent a year studying abroad at the Rothberg International School at the Hebrew University and a year studying Torah at Nishmat. Originally from Providence, RI, she currently resides in Alon Shvut with her husband, Evan.
Robert W. Henoch advocates on behalf of Israel- and Europe-based companies in internal investigations, regulatory and criminal enforcement matters, and complex international disputes. Now practicing in Europe and the Middle East, Robert previously served as a prosecutor at the US Department of Justice (DOJ) in the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, presiding over a variety of investigations and trials.
A U.S. trial lawyer who speaks Hebrew, Robert is the only former federal prosecutor based and practicing in Israel. Obtaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel, Robert served in the US Army and Army Reserve for more than 20 years.
Robert joined the Nesiya family in 2012 when his daughter was a participant on Nesiya, and his son also participated in Nesiya in 2015.
“I was awed by how my daughter Naomi blossomed through her Nesiya experience. Nesiya gave Naomi the tools for a more meaningful and joyous Jewish life, deepened her commitment to relationships with Jews from diverse backgrounds, strengthened her ability to listen to ideas different from her own, and made her more appreciative of the value of Jews living all over the world. On Nesiya, as part of a caring and vibrant community, Naomi strengthened her own voice.”
Jennifer Chestnut is the Vice President of Campus Partnerships for Hillel International, and previously served for 16 years as executive director of Hillel at Kent State University. A native resident of Cleveland, Ohio, Jennifer participated in Nesiya in summer 1990 and has been involved with our organization ever since, in various roles.
“Nesiya was the first time that I was introduced to authentic Jewish pluralism and learning traditional Jewish texts in very non-traditional methodologies. As young people we worked together to make Jewish sacred spaces that represented each of our unique perspectives.”
Based in Cleveland, Ohio, Sid Good heads up Good Marketing, Inc., a marketing consulting firm that focuses on new product development, dual use technologies, and non-incremental growth strategies. With a heritage in the youth market including toys, games, and juvenile products, Good Marketing engages in a variety of business categories including food & beverage, automotive, sporting goods, robotics, media platforms, and senior care.
Prior to starting Good Marketing over 27 years ago with his brother Bruce, Sid held marketing positions at Hasbro, Frito-Lay, and M&M/Mars. Sid has a B.A. from Brown University and an MBA from the University of Chicago Booth School of Business.
In addition to Nesiya, Sid is a board trustee of Jewish Family Service of Cleveland, Menorah Park Center for Senior Living, The Greater Cleveland Film Commission, Shoes & Clothes for Kids, and Summer on the Cuyahoga.
“Since my initial involvement with Nesiya over 25 years ago, I continue to see the growing need, value, and impact of Nesiya and its innovative and dynamic model of Jewish education and personal engagement. Nesiya is a challenging program that empowers participants to learn from each other and make choices for themselves and their communities. Most importantly, the Nesiya experience occurs at a crucial time in the development of its participants – teen years before college. Vital issues regarding one’s personal connection to Judaism and Israel need to be addressed and explored in a safe and supportive environment prior to the college experience. Nesiya establishes a strong sense of self and the leadership capabilities to address any future challenges.”
Sara Narva teaches dance, theater and sex education at The Crefeld School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. She leads in her community around issues of classism, sexism and anti-racism. Sara is also a long-standing member of the Nesiya family; she was a participant in summer 1994, and later worked as a staff member, recruiter and arts educator for Nesiya.
“Nesiya has been a major influence on my life for over 20 years. As a participant I learned that my opinions mattered and that there were many dynamic ways to be Jewish, not only the one way I grew up; I learned that art could be a mode of learning. As staff person I Learned about facilitating complex group dynamics and supporting young people to discover struggle with their relationships to Israel their Jewish identity. My Current professional life, my connection to Judaism and my work as an artist/educator have all been deeply impacted by my experiences with this organization. I am pleased and honored to be supporting Nesiya after all I have gained from being a part of it.”